Republican Sen. John McCain, facing a tough reelection challenge from U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1), told voters last week that they should elect him to serve as a check against a Hillary Clinton administration. It appears that McCain is not anticipating a Trump triumph in November.
Over at Talking Points Memo, Lauren Fox notes that the strategy is a callback to 1996:
McCain's appeal is identical to the one Republican senators made in 1996 when their nominee Bob Dole was floundering and it was growing increasingly clear that linking their futures to him was more of a suicide pact than it was helpful.On the other hand, in the above interview flagged by Team Kirkpatrick, McCain says he can work better with Donald Trump than on Hillary Clinton when it comes to immigration, even though McCain doesn't think Trump's policy is at all realistic and McCain's own immigration stance actually mirrors Hillary Clinton's on the major points.
"Ann Kirkpatrick won't oppose higher taxes, she won't oppose more federal spending and she won't impose increased debts that slow economic growth," McCain said. "I will."
"She won't exercise her right to advise and consent on presidential appointments to make sure we don't have the wrong people in important jobs or Supreme Court justices who will take the courts to liberal extremes," McCain said. "I will."